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For this weekly assignment, we’re trying a fun online tool. I’d like to see you reflect on some of the processes O’Neil described in Weapons of Math Destruction as well as see some citizen science at work!
We’re going to be using a platform for citizen science named the Zooniverse. The Zooniverse is, in their own words, “…the world’s largest and most popular platform for people-powered research. … Our goal is to enable research that would not be possible, or practical, otherwise. Zooniverse research results in new discoveries, datasets useful to the wider research community, and many publications.”
There are many projects housed on this platform, here’s some possible projects you can choose from for this assignment:
Dark Energy Explorers (https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/erinmc/dark-energy-explorers (Links to an external site.))
Drones for Ducks (https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/rowan-aspire/drones-for-ducks (Links to an external site.))
Frogsong (https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/sladeaa/frogsong (Links to an external site.) )
First, use the tutorial for the project to learn how to classify images. After doing the tutorial, which is typically brief, you’ll be turned loose on classifying real data. Keep a record of your work by taking some screen shots of yourself using the tool.
After you’ve classified three or four images, collect your screen shots into a Word document and add in your answers to a few questions:
– What parts of building this new algorithm are you contributing to? How does this fit into O’Neil’s description of the different parts of an algorithmic decision making tool?
– What is potentially useful to the scientists about making this activity available to the public? What is potentially problematic about making this classification open? How are they controlling for potential problems?
– What’s your reaction to doing this kind of classification work? Did you find it interesting? Did you learn something about the field that you hadn’t expected?
About 200-300 words is fine for the write-up. Submit your .doc or .docx files to Canvas!